Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Letters to my daughters: foundations

My dear daughters,
The most important thing, the place from which you can build all of the rest of your life, is your relationship with God. 

It's easy to say this, but harder to DO it. I see a lot of stuff out there that almost excuses busy moms from taking the time to read their Bible and pray. Certainly you shouldn't be weighed down with guilt about it, but neglecting your time with God is like shooting yourself in the foot! 

I have done several different things during my quiet time over the years. I was given a one year Bible when I graduated from high school, and I have read it all the way through about three or four times I think, since then. I don't always read a full day of the plan each day. It took me three years to get through the Bible one of the times. I also have an app on my phone and doing reading plans on that is very convenient, but it has started to be rather unsatisfying for me. Lately I've been reading and marking up the Bible my parents gave me the year I graduated from bible school. Maybe someday you will read what I've underlined and written in it and get a glimpse into my relationship with God. I would love to think so. 

With the health issues I've struggled with over the years, it has been important for me to get enough sleep. Especially with having had four kids in 7 1/2 years, that has been difficult. Now that Josie is sleeping well, it's becoming easier to wake up before you girls do to have time with God. When I couldn't get up early though, I would read while I made breakfast, before I fell asleep while you napped (I LOVE nap time!), and/or before I went to bed at night. 

Often I read more than once a day, maybe part of a day from my one year Bible in the morning and a Psalm at night. When I read the Psalms, I love to ask God to tell me what chapter to read and then turn to the number I hear in my heart. It always makes me smile how He leads me to just what I need to hear. I'm getting better and better at hearing His voice that way. 

If I wake during the night or have trouble falling asleep, I use that time to pour my heart out to God, talking to Him about whatever is bothering me or that I need answers for. I just finished reading The Circle Maker, and I probably need to read it again. That book has I think forever changed my prayer life. I also pray over you girls every night before I say goodnight. I pray for protection and good sleep and for you to know God more, every night. I have a handful of scriptures that I pray and claim for you every night. I wonder if you will remember what I pray when you are grown? It is usually pretty much the same, but that's because I want to continue to see those things in your life. I pray that prayer from memory over you, but it is no less heartfelt now than it was the first time I prayed it years ago. 

One of my favorite things to do is to worship. Ever since I was a little girl, I would play the piano and sing at the top of my lungs. When I was little I imagined my audience. It amazes and humbles me that now I get to sing with real people. God is so good. He puts in us these things that bring us deep joy, and then tells us that's what He made us to do. Amazing. When I get a worship song stuck in my mind and heart, it often does not go away until I sing it to God. I feel like I'm just scratching the surface of what God has to teach me about worship. I can't wait to learn more. The fact that we can bring God pleasure and joy by singing to Him and doing things for His glory brings so much meaning to life for me. Everything about life makes sense when it's an act of worship. 

I also listen to sermons and read books written by people I respect. Some of my favorites are Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Lisa Bevere, Joyce Meyer, Andrew Wommack, and others. I have always read the books and listened to any sermons I missed at the church we attend also. I think it is so important to stay tuned in to what God is doing in your local church. can be a tricky thing. Perfect churches don't exist, as far as I can tell. There will always be opportunities for you to get your feelings hurt, have an argument with someone, or be deeply disappointed by something that happens there. But the thing is, I think that's part of why we're supposed to go to one. Your character is not usually tested until you're in relationship with people. And being in relationship with other people who believe like you do, can build you up in ways you can't get alone. Find a church where you can belong, and then decide to belong there. Go where God is doing stuff. It might be messy. Don't be afraid of messy. Just love people and be part of something bigger than you. 

Above all else, I pray that you will come to know God personally, intimately. You are safe with Him and you can tell Him every thought, every desire, and every hurt you have. Read His word. Learn to hear His voice. Do what He says. In this world you will have trouble, but Jesus has overcome the world. 

I love you!

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